Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Vital Viewing (Cultural Exchanges Edition)


Actor Tom Berenger was born on this day in 1949. I tend to think of him as an almost-movie star. He had--has--the talent and the looks and was in a number of hit movies in the 1980s, but never seemed to quite reach that celluloid summet. Even when he played the main character in a film, I can't remember him ever getting that screen idol-defining above-the-title billing. So it was with some surprise, of the pleasurable sort, to find out that he not only may still be considered famous, but that his fame has apparently spread to, of all places, ...

...the Middle East. About six years ago Berenger went to the Kingdom of Jordan to conduct some kind of acting workshop and while there sat down for this interview, where he proves to be every bit as amiable as he is talented, and, even as an older gent, good-looking. Watch:

Since Hollywood largely has moved away from celluloid, as mentioned in the above clip, maybe there's still time for Berenger to reach the digital summit, without that click-click-click to hold him back. Before that happens, though, I want to return briefly to an era when film was still shot on film, and for that we need to leave Southwest Asia, and go to...

...Southeast Asia.

(It was actually filmed in the Philippines, but that's still Southeast Asia.)

Let me set up the following scene. Amiable actor Berenger, in the role of the less-than-amiable Staff Sgt. Barnes, finds that he's the target of a possible murder plot, retaliation for Barnes own murder of a fellow serviceman. Charlie Sheen portrays the main plotter. Watch: 

Sometimes I feel deprived about having mostly missed out on the 1960s. But not when I watch this clip.


  1. I remember some of the sixties, especially the latter years. In the late eighties I watched a black and white episode of Lost in Space. My god, how corny it was and the sets were so cheap they wobbled. The actually acting and characters were not bad though.

    1. Andrew, I agree Lost in Space was not a very good show, but whenever I come across it I'll watch it anyway just to see Jonathan Harris (Dr. Smith), Billy Mumy (Will Robinson) and Dick Tufeld (the voice of the Robot) go through their paces. They're every bit as entertaining as Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley.

  2. I used to think he was so hot. The first time I saw him was in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. It looks like he's still hot.

  3. Still a very good looking man. I loved the movie The Big Chill and remember him from that role.

    1. JM, here is my favorite bit of dialogue from that movie:

      Michael [Jeff Goldblum]: I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex.
      Sam Weber[Tom Beringer]: Ah, come on. Nothing's more important than sex.
      Michael: Oh yeah? How long have you gone without sex?
      Sam: About a week.
      Michael: Ever gone a week without a rationalization?


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